Huel is Human Fuel. See what we did there?
Huel is blended and packaged in our state of the art facility in Canada. Here it is produced in accordance with rigorous food production regulations.
It’s not as simple as just saying eat real food. Ensuring you are getting the nutrition your body needs is an incredibly difficult process. 69% of adults are overweight or obese, 29 million people have diabetes, and over 86 million people are classed as borderline diabetics. Clearly it is not so simple to eat only what is healthy for you and get the right diet. For many people, this isn’t through lack of knowledge or will, but just simple lack of time to prepare the food. Huel helps with this. Instead of being forced to eat an unhealthy ready meal or fast food, you can eat a cheap, quick, tasty and healthy meal. For many, the question isn’t why not eat 'real' food, it’s why not eat Huel?
Huel prioritises nutrition over flavour. The more popular Vanilla Huel has as a wholesome and fresh ‘oaty’ taste with a hint of vanilla.
The Unflavoured & Unsweetened Huel has an earthier neutral taste.
If you do want to add some flavour, it’s very easy to do. Here are a few ideas:
Coffee - Either instant if you’re in a hurry, or brewed if you've a little bit more time on your hands.
Syrups - Such as those used at Starbucks. There’s a whole range of flavours, from caramel to mint. They can also be sugar-free. More information here.
Blended Fruit - It's refreshing to add some fresh or frozen fruit and then blend. e.g. banana, berries etc.
Cocoa Powder - For a hint of chocolate.
Cinnamon Powder - This often comes up as a customer favourite. It also has plenty of health benefits.
Savoury Flavours - The Unflavoured and Unsweetened Huel opens up a whole world of possibilities. Some ideas include: cayenne powder for those who love heat, curry, stock cubes, savoury flavour pots or even bacon powder.
Packed full of nutrients, over 40% of Huel is oats, which are low GI and can therefore help lead to a feeling of fullness. Read some of our customer testimonials to see them agree.
Huel is generally best enjoyed cold; it’s particularly good with a few ice cubes thrown in! Huel can be drunk warm however, and is a great way to warm up on a cold winter’s morning. We don’t recommend using boiling water though, as this may affect its nutritional profile. To avoid this, boil the water and let it cool, or simply mix it with cold water before adding it to your Huel.
Unopened - 1 year. Huel can be stored up to a year in a dry, cool environment, away from direct sunlight. There is a best before date printed on the pouch.
Pouch open - 6 months. You can reseal an opened pouch and store in dry, cool environment, away from direct sunlight for half a year.
Refrigerated and mixed - 24 hours. You can prepare Huel for breakfast the night before, plus it tastes nicer cold.
Unrefrigerated and mixed - Varies. Providing the temperature is cool, your mixed Huel can stay fresh for a few hours.
To get started you only need Huel, water and a shaker (which is free in your starter set). However, you can improve your Huel prep with the following:
A blender - Huel is a powder. You simply need to add water and mix. Up to 700 ml can be mixed in a shaker in just 10 seconds. For larger quantities or better texture, we would recommend a blender.
Kitchen scales - You can measure out Huel with a simple scoop. However, if you want to measure your Huel very accurately we recommend some simple kitchen scales. They can be purchased from a wide range of retailers for around $10.
Jug - Save yourself time and mix a day’s supply in a glass jug and then simply pop it in the fridge.
Flask - Storing Huel in a shaker or bottle is fine for an hour or two, but if you are taking your Huel mix to work and want to keep it cold but do not have access to a fridge, then a vacuum flask would be very useful.
The pouches are currently not recyclable. They are made of a composite of plastic outer layer for strength and waterproofing, and an inner layer of foil to block light which could degrade the micronutrients.
We could make the pouches recyclable tomorrow, from biodegradable material. However, the compromise is that they will be weaker, will start to breakdown in the presence of moisture and will not block all the light. These means that the shelf life of Huel will need to be reduced, and there will be significant increase in product being spoiled due to water damage and general wear and tear. Therefore, we think overall using the current stronger, light blocking non-recyclable pouches actually creates less waste overall.
Despite this fact, the amount of waste that Huel packaging creates is frankly minimal compared to the packaging involved in most shop-bought food. This picture shows the amount of Huel and packaging for 96 years of Huel.
Quite simply, yes. Just like any food, it all comes down to calories: Eat more calories than your body uses, and you will gain weight. Eat fewer calories than your body uses and you will lose weight. Approximately 3500 calories equals 1 lb of fat. Therefore, eating a deficit of 500 calories per day should see you lose about 1 lb of fat a week and vice versa. With Huel it is easy to know exactly how many calories you consume, you simply weigh the powder then calculate how many calories are in it. The co-founder of Huel, James Collier BSc (Hons), RNutr's Guide to Fat Loss and Guide to Weight Gain are fantastic aides to your goals as well. You can find out more about how many calories your body needs with this online calorie calculator.
Some people don’t like the inclusion of Sucralose in Huel, as it is an artificial sweetener. We use Sucralose for a number of reasons. The first is that it doesn’t add any calories or carbohydrates, meaning the nutritional value of Huel is protected.
Sucralose is also a much healthier option than many other sweeteners. Indeed, Sucralose is 600 times sweeter than sugar, and doesn’t accumulate in your body. Huel only has to have a tiny amount of Sucralose in it to make it much more palatable to many, and it doesn't interact with your body at all.
Furthermore, over 100 safety studies have been carried out on Sucralose over 20 years, with a wide range of experts finding it has no ill effects on health, even when consumed at much higher levels than Huel uses. As such, Sucralose is currently approved and deemed safe by:
European Union Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Standards Australia/New Zealand (FSANZ) Health Protection Branch of Health and Welfare Canada (Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization) Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) Japan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare Sucralose is also suitable for people with diabetes, as it does not affect glucose or insulin levels. More still, it doesn’t increase bacteria levels in the mouth, so doesn’t cause tooth decay/cavities like sugar does.
Other natural sweeteners are not used in Huel is because they are often not as sweet, and therefore require more of it to increase the overall sweetness of Huel. It can also leave a very bitter aftertaste in larger amounts.
You can read more about this in our Registered Nutritionist James Collier BSc (Hons) Huel Guide to Sucralose.
Yes. Our combination of both rice and pea protein means Huel has a perfect Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Scoring (PDCAAS) of 1.0. This is the same score as other animal based proteins, and more than enough to ensure all amino acids are supplied and that the protein in Huel has high bioavailability. You can read more about protein in our Registered Nutritionist James Collier BSc (Hons), RNutr's Guide to Protein Quality.
Huel has a Glycemic Index of 27.
There is some concern that the vitamins and minerals in vitamin tablets don't absorb very well into the body. The vitamin and mineral blend in Huel is only to bump up the vitamins and mins that aren't there in sufficient amounts from the food ingredients within Huel. Some vitamin and mineral supplements aren't absorbed well, but this is due to the constituents of the pill or the form of the micronutrient used in the blend. All forms used in the Huel vitamin and mineral blend are readily absorbed to provide adequate nutrition.
Digestion does begin with chewing; it starts the breakdown of solid food to increase the surface area and there's also one enzyme, salivary amylase, which breaks down the polysaccharide starch into the disaccharide maltose. However, with liquid diets, this has already been done for you and salivary amylase has very little effect on total starch digestion; it merely kick starts carb digestion as, in the stomach, it itself is broken down (remember, enzymes are proteins). Its sister enzyme pancreatic amylase, which acts in the intestines, has a more pronounced effect where even previously solid food is liquid chyme. Huel has fine milled oats as the carb source and these are a lot easier to break down further than whole oats. Also peristalsis remains active throughout the alimentary canal, as we've addressed this with good levels of soluble and insoluble fibers in Huel: 35g per 2000kcal.
Consuming a diet based solely on liquid foods will have no adverse effect on your teeth. However, we recommend that you brush your teeth thoroughly twice daily using a fluoride toothpaste and if you have any concerns regarding your dental health to discuss these with your dentist.
If you follow the acid-alkaline (pH) diet approach, the pH of Huel is 6.54 making it of 'neutral' pH.
Phytoestrogens are plant-derived compounds similar in structure to the hormone estrogen; they may also have similar effects on the body to that of estrogen if consumed in large enough amounts. However, the proportion to which phytoestrogens affect the body and hormones, especially testosterone, have been highly inflated. If you are looking to gain muscle, this is a slow and difficult task and the most important factors are correct training, adequate nutrition and getting enough rest and sleep; the whole process takes time and effort. Testosterone is the hormone that's important in the process of muscle gain and some people have concerns as low testosterone levels will make the muscle gain process harder. Some people point to articles which state flaxseed may increase the amount of phytoestrogens causing concerns that this might lower or limit the production of testosterone. However, the fact that flaxseed is broken down by the body into lignans can actually lower the effectiveness of estrogen in the body, with very useful side effects from people suffering from certain forms of cancer: Flaxseed is sometimes tried for cancer because it is broken down by the body into chemicals called 'lignans'. Lignans are similar to the estrogen - so similar, in fact, that they compete with estrogen for a part in certain chemical reactions. As a result, natural estrogens seem to become less powerful in the body. Some researchers believe that lignans may be able to slow down the progress of certain breast cancers and other types of cancers that need estrogen to thrive. So while phytoestrogens may act like natural estrogens, they will only do so in large amounts and their ability to affect testosterone levels are limited at best. Bringing this back to muscle gain, while testosterone will play a part, this will be affected mostly by the exercise you do, cutting out alcohol, getting enough fats, etc, not the minute amounts of phytoestrogens from the flaxseed in Huel. Huel contains a macro split of 37:30:30:3; i.e. 37% of the energy comes from carbohydrates, 30% from fat, 30% from protein and 3% from fiber; it provides everything you need and is ideal for muscle gain, especially if you struggle to consume enough food for bulking.
The saturated fat content of Huel is 12g and 61% of the amount recommended (based on a 2,000 calories per day serving). Although this level is not high, some people are concerned because we have been advised not to have diets too high in saturates. However, the amount of saturated fat in Huel is not a problem for two reasons: 1) Huel contains a high amount of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) from the coconut oil. MCTs are actually types of saturated fat but they are metabolized in a very different way to other fats making them an efficient source of energy. MCTs make up nearly half of the saturates in Huel. 2) The issue that saturated fats are a major contributor to cardiovascular disease is an outdated issue. The saturates in Huel may seem a high level, but they are naturally occurring and present for potential health benefits. You can read more about this in our Registered Nutritionist James Collier BSc (Hons), RNutr's Guide to Good and Bad Fats.
Questions are occasionally asked about why Huel doesn’t include the two fatty acids EPA and DHA. On a Huel diet, you do actually get sufficient levels of EPA and DHA, because Huel is high in the essential fatty acids LA and ALA. Huel provides sufficient ALA to be converted into EPA and DHA by the body. For more information, read James Collier BSc (Hons), RNutr's Guide to EPA and DHA in Huel.
We don't create an organic version for a couple of reasons. One of them is cost, organic is far more expensive. There is an organic, nutritionally complete powdered food product out there; it’s called Ambronite. However it costs over $10 per 500kcal. That is 5 times the price of Huel and really doesn’t fit in with our mission to provide universally affordable, nutritionally complete food.
If you've had surgery on your esophagus or stomach which has resulted in partial or total removal, you can still benefit from using Huel. One symptom you should have been made aware of from medical staff is dumping syndrome, which is where the transit time for food will be a lot quicker and this could cause rebound hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels). The ingredients in Huel are low glycemic and ideal to reduce the risk of dumping syndrome. However, to be cautious, we recommend you keep your servings of Huel smaller and spread through the day; i.e. 5-6 small portions, rather than 3-4 larger servings. Obviously this depends on your requirements and if you're using Huel for 100% of your nutrition. Also, if you are using Huel 100%, we suggest you work up to this level over 1-2 weeks rather than going straight to a complete Huel intake. Do remember that some gastro-intestinal surgery can result in reduced absorption and increased requirements for certain nutrients, so we recommend you discuss Huel with your clinical staff before commencing its use.
There are no ingredients in Huel that are contra-indicated for nursing/lactating mothers and Huel should be fine to consume. However, we suggest you discuss this with your doctor or health visitor in case there are any clinically-specific reasons why Huel would not be suitable.
Powdered Huel is low FODMAP.
Oat powder is low to moderate FODMAP, and as other Huel ingredients are low, this further dilutes any possible effects from oat powder. Data from the Australian based FODMAP Friendly Food Certification program showed that pea protein is considered low FODMAP in small servings of 20g; 2.5 scoops of Huel has 18.4g.
Brown rice protein is a low FODMAP protein powder. Flaxseed powder at the levels in Huel is moderate FODMAP, but as other Huel ingredients are low, this dilutes adverse effects of flaxseed powder. Huel is a combination of several ingredients, and Huel powder when mixed with water, is low FODMAP. We do, however, suggest consuming a maximum of 3 scoops at one sitting if you're particularly sensitive and spreading your intake throughout the day.
Huel Bars are not low FODMAP.
Huel is not suitable for children under 4 years of age. However, older children may include Huel as part of a balanced diet that includes a variety of other foods but Huel should not be their sole source of nutrition as they have different nutritional requirements to adults. For more information see our Beginner's Guide to Nutrition.
We advise caution if you have diverticular disease. Whilst consuming Huel may be okay if your diverticular disease is in remission, if you're in an active diverticulitis phase, the ground flaxseeds may get caught up in diverticular pockets and cause irritation so we suggest avoiding Huel.
Huel is suitable for both type 1 and type 2 diabetics. It is based on oats and is high in fibre. As with all food, if you're using medication to help control your diabetes you should structure your intake of Huel appropriately. Indeed, Huel is low in sugar, has a low GI (see below) and you can accurately measure the amount of carbohydrate you're consuming each meal; this may be useful depending on what medication or insulin regimen you're following. 40% of the total energy intake in Huel comes from carbohydrates and this amount ties in well with Diabetes UK recommendation. Indeed, for diabetics who count their carbs to help manage their blood glucose levels (as detailed on the Diabetes UK website), please look at the carbohydrate information on Huel; for example, a 3 scoop Huel meal will provide 42g of carbohydrate.
Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS - also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)) are conditions which include symptoms of tiredness and poor appetite. Huel is an ideal source of nutrition as it's easy to prepare and consume. Indeed, Huel is also ideal in other conditions with similar symptoms, for example Lyme disease.
The protein in Huel comes primarily from a mixture of brown rice protein concentrate and pea protein isolate. There are no leguminous plants in Huel and all ingredients are low histamine; whilst peas may be high in histamine in their natural form, as Huel uses a pea protein isolate almost everything else, including histamine, is removed in the process. Huel is therefore low histamine so, if the nature of your pea allergy is related to histamine, Huel will be fine. However, we suggest caution if your pea allergy relates to another constituent of peas.
If there are no contraindications for using Huel relating to the medical condition, Huel can be administered through a nasogastric (NG) or PEG tube via the bolus / syringe method of administration. Due to Huel's ingredients and nutritional profile, it can be a great way of helping to curb hunger. As Huel has the ground flaxseed particles, please follow these essential points to prevent the tube from blocking: Flush the tube with at least 50ml of water before AND immediately after administering the Huel boluses. Blend Huel well with plenty of water: 100g Huel in 500ml water. Maintain good tube care as you would for any feed as per the instructions from your clinical staff.
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